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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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Parish Records




War Memorials



By the end of 1640, King Charles I had become very unpopular.  Parliament forced him to make changes in the Constitution which gave them a bigger say in how the country was governed. From then on, Parliament was split into two factions - Royalists (Cavaliers) who supported the King and Parliamentarians (Roundheads) who wanted political and religious reform.


On 3 May 1641, every Member of the House of Commons was ordered to make a declaration of loyalty to the crown. This was ratified next day by the House of Lords. They called it their Protestation against " an arbitrarie and tyrannical government" and another order was made that every Rector, Churchwarden and Overseer of the Poor had to appear in person before the JPs in their Hundred to make this Protestation Oath in person. It was to  be a declaration of their belief in the" Protestant religion, allegiance to the King and support for the rights and privileges of Parliament".


They then had to go back home to their own parish where any two of them were to require the same oath of allegiance from all males over the age of 18. The names of all who refused to make the oath were to be noted and assumed to be Catholics.


We have, in the Devon Protestation Returns, a set of amazing documents - something akin to a census even though no women or children are named.  A transcription is available in the West Country Studies Library in Exeter.


The Protestation Returns are arranged by parish.

Dolton belonged to the Hundred of North Tawton*

The original spelling has been preserved

(Was Ginekine Rise actually Jenkin Rise?)

John Actkins Leonard Gaweker Edward Maye
William Alfred Thomas Glandfield John Moore
Peter Arscotte Paul Goddafrey Samson Northal
Robert Arscotte William Goddafrey Francis Parkine
John Averye Thomas Grante Stephen Partidge
Israel Baker Robert Gregory John Pawe
Thomas Bauden Robert Hancocke Stephen Pawe
Francis Beale Thomas Hancocke Nathaniel Richards
Christopher Benford John Heale Ginekine Rise
William Benford Laurence Heane William Rudge
Nicholas Berrye John Heard sen. Humphrey Saule
Edward Brage John Heard jun. John Shorte sen.
Cipio Bragge Valentine Heddon John Shorte jun.
Giles Bragge John Helliar John Shutt
John Bragge sen. Philip Hernaman William Shorte
John Bragge jun. John Hewood William Skrigen
Philip Bragge John Heyman John Skriggen sen.
Robert Bragge sen. Thomas Hoare John Skriggen
Robert Bragge jun. Rowland Hooper Robert Skriggen
John Breighte Rowland Hooper jun. Thomas Scriggen
Philip Breighte Humphrey Johns Nicholas Snell
William Breighte Arthur Kellaway John Squire sen.
Henry Bremblecomb William Labbett John Squire
John Bremblecombe William Langdone Jeremy Standbery
Giles Clarke Edward Leviton Edmund Standberye
William Courtis Philip Leviton William Steven
William Darche Robert Leviton John Tailder
Anthony Denford Thomas Leviton Thomas Tailder
Christopher Denford William Leviton George Tome
William Derrye Daniel Locke Christopher Toms
Crispin Donne John Lugge Philip Tooker
Henry Downe John Lupene William White
William Drake sen. John Luscombe John Willmotts
William Drake jnr. Simon Luxon John Wonnacott
Edward Gaweker Thomas Mare John Zeale
John Gaweker Thomas Marfield

Refusers none except Francis Beale who was not at home but is out at work as his wife affirms 20 miles hence and hath not heard of it.

James Voisey - Rector

Thomas Wonnacotte - Church Warden

Robert Bishop - Overseer

Richard Skriggens - Overseer

John Actkines - Overseer


* For many centuries, Devon was divided into 32 administrative districts or Hundreds for land tax purpose.


Taken from the transcription by A. J. Howard published in 1973 which is available in the West Country Studies Library, Exeter.                                                                                                              Courtesy: Devon County Council


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